A Tattoo Artist, a Prostitute, a Man without a Job, a Pit Bull and Time with Harrison
Ten of the last twelve years we lived way out in the country... and enjoyed it. We now live in the heart of the city... and absolutely love it. What do we love about the city? There is an endless flow of people... an endless flow of people like us: sinners in need of God's grace. What a joy it is to continually come across people to minister to, share the gospel with, reach out to in mercy, encourage, help, learn from, disciple and be a neighbor to. Our children are great accountability partners...
"Daddy, does that person know Jesus?"
"Are you going to share the gospel with the people that live at that house?"
"Can we go help that lady?"
"Can we invite them over to our house?"
During the first week a man came over to hook up the phone and internet and our kids immediately wanted to help him and watch him... this house is an older house and did not have modern phone jacks... instead the phone jacks were four pronged squares... so he had to rewire a few rooms... plenty of time to talk about him and what was going on in his life... the good news of how God has provided his sinless Son, Jesus, to take our sins upon himself and transfer his righteousness to us so that, if we believe in him, we will have eternal life... we will be changed so that we can turn away from our sins and obey God... this new life brings a joy that we will never know apart from Christ... invited the man to join us at church... His response was, "You know, I have seen a lot when I go to houses to work... people fighting and yelling... throwing things... it is good to be here and talk to you. Thanks for inviting me to church. I need to come... I need to bring my kids. Thanks."
I have not seen him yet but I pray that God would draw him to himself.
My work with Twin Lakes has come to an end and last month I attended my first board meeting with Christian Missionary Society. Each time I travel, I take one of the children in order to spend time with that child and hopefully grow closer to one another and God as we learn what God has to teach us both during the journey. Harrison came with me to Georgia and we had to travel through Atlanta... little did I know what God had in store for us... we were traveling on the day after the Chattahoochee River overflowed and killed people, flooded homes and businesses and washed out roads and bridges. Even Interstate 20 was closed for several miles. Harrison and I were ushered into detour traffic where we spent six hours in a traffic jam before coming out near the Atlanta airport. Yes, at the beginning of this traffic jam we were a little irritated at being stuck... until we remembered how blessed we were... while the flood was all around us, we were dry, our home was not under water... we were alive... and there were thousands of people around us in need of help.
We began looking around us and realized that we had an incredible opportunity to serve people... as cars began overheating... breaking down... running out of gas... people getting too hot... there was an elderly couple whose car stopped in the middle of the road and one after another cars just went around them. Harrison and I stopped to find two exhausted people in an old car with no air conditioner... after a few minutes their car was up and going and they pulled off at the next place they could to rest. We decided to help every single person on the side of the road... we were not getting anywhere fast - the detour we were on had to be detoured because another bridge washed away. Whatever the need was, we tried to meet it - usually it was a ride to the next gas station or help with their car. We met several people including a homeless man, a prostitute, a tattoo artist, a man looking for a job... we even gave a pit bull a ride (with his owner - Harrison was very excited about having the pit bull in the car... after he realized the dog was not going to bite his head off). With a captive audience, we had some good conversations which always led to talking about God's grace through Jesus... the way, the truth and the life. We pray that God would save them all.
Harrison and I had a great time together and it was very encouraging to make plans for our mission work. I thank God for the opportunity in Atlanta to serve and I pray that God would use that trip to encourage Harrison to tell people about Jesus every chance he gets... every day that we have been given, may we use it for God's glory.
"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." Deuteronomy 6:5-7
...and when you are on the way to a meeting... and when you are driving down the road... and when you are stuck in traffic...
By God's grace we desire to live our life to serve and glorify Jesus. He is our treasure. He is the one we trust. He is the one we love.
We are a family of eight praying that God will use us to minister to orphans around the world and encourage Christians to reach out in mercy to orphans. At home we serve with Palmer Home for Children. Palmer Home is a ministry to children who are growing up as social orphans without the nurture and support of a loving family. Palmer provides a stable, Christ-centered home for these children. Internationally we serve with Share the Hope. Share the Hope ministers to orphans around the world. Both at home and around the world we proclaim good news of Jesus Christ and reach out in mercy to these precious children. We hope that this blog is a testimony to you of God's mighty hand and that you are encouraged to serve Jesus with all your heart and to reach out to orphans.
Matthew, Sheila, Karina, Harrison, Isaac, Noah, Storey Grace and James!